Man who impersonated ICE agent sentenced for explosive device: report

A California man who impersonated a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer was sentenced to two years in prison for having an explosive device, McClatchy reports

Matthew Johnston, 26, pled guilty to possessing an unregistered destructive devices, according to the news outlet.

McClatchy reported that Johnston's friends and family believed he was a federal agent with the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, adding that his car was equipped with blue and red police lights and that he wore ICE uniforms, a tactical "federal agent" vest and an ICE badge that called him “Special Agent Matthew Johnston” with “Clearance Level 2." 


On one occasion, Johnston even posed as an ICE agent and questioned someone about a possible undocumented immigrant, McClatchy reported. 

His girlfriend accidentally activated the flashing police lights while driving his car, resulting in a traffic stop last October, according to the news outlet. 

A deputy reportedly called the local ICE office and learned that Johnson had been impersonating a federal official.

Investigators reportedly found 32 firearms, about 10,000 rounds of ammunition, cannon fuses, and homemade rockets and rocket launchers and other destructive devices, as well as five unexploded or partially exploded improvised devices — including an exploded pipe bomb and smoke grenade — that Johnston had set off in the desert.

McClatchy cited court documents that said Johnston admitted to creating the ICE agent persona after his ex-wife insulted him in front of his daughter, saying he had “done nothing with his life.”

“He did not want to pick a local agency where people might know individuals who worked at the agency, because he feared being caught,” according to those records.